Advertisement

alive (adj.)

c. 1200, "in life, living," contraction of Old English on life "in living, not dead," from a- (1) + dative of lif "life" (see life). The full form on live was still current 17c. Of abstract things (love, lawsuits, etc.) "in a state of operation, unextinguished," c. 1600. From 1709 as "active, lively;" 1732 as "attentive, open" (usually with to). Used emphatically, especially with man (n.); as in:

[A]bout a thousand gentlemen having bought his almanacks for this year, merely to find what he said against me, at every line they read they would lift up their eyes, and cry out betwixt rage and laughter, "they were sure no man alive ever writ such damned stuff as this." [Jonathan Swift, Bickerstaff's Vindication, 1709]

Thus it was abstracted as an expletive, man alive! (1845). Alive and kicking "alert, vigorous," attested from 1823; Farmer says "The allusion is to a child in the womb after quickening," but kicking in the sense "lively and active" is recorded from 1550s (e.g. "the wanton or kicking flesh of yong maydes," "Lives of Women Saints," c. 1610).

Others are reading

Advertisement
Definitions of alive from WordNet

alive (adj.)
mentally perceptive and responsive;
alive to what is going on
Synonyms: alert / awake
alive (adj.)
(often followed by `with') full of life and spirit;
she was wonderfully alive for her age
a face alive with mischief
alive (adj.)
possessing life;
the nerve is alive
the happiest person alive
doctors are working hard to keep him alive
burned alive
Synonyms: live
alive (adj.)
(followed by `to' or `of') aware of;
is alive to the moods of others
alive (adj.)
in operation;
keep hope alive
the tradition was still alive
Synonyms: active
alive (adj.)
capable of erupting;
the volcano is very much alive
Synonyms: live
alive (adj.)
having life or vigor or spirit;
Synonyms: animated
From wordnet.princeton.edu